You can’t expect efficiency to improve just because you tell your employees it must. You need to motivate each person in order to encourage them and perhaps alongside this make some changes to your business in order to boost productivity.
There are many reasons your team aren’t being as efficient as you would like them to be. This can range from feeling disheartened to slow and complicated processes.
Ultimately spending time on this will benefit your employees, as they feel appreciated and therefore motivated which will, of course, have major benefits for the business.
So, how are you going to do this?
Reward your employees
One way to improve morale within your team and therefore boost efficiency is by rewarding your employees. If your team are working hard and feeling like it is going unnoticed then morale will start to drop and the work they produce could slow down as a result. To help keep this high, make sure they feel appreciated by rewarding hard work. This could, for example, be with a party to celebrate the year, complete with awards and a special host to hand them out, for those who have truly excelled.
Show genuine appreciation
Be careful with monetary incentives. Research shows that bonuses are more of a disincentive if targets are not met. Even when they are met, they become an expected part of the package and don’t incentivise beyond that.
While targets are important and cash can help if managed sensitively, even more important is a simple, genuine thank you. Thanks and praise need to be delivered at the right time. Aim to catch your team doing things right and show appreciation when they do. Nothing is more motivating.
Set (realistic) goals
To keep productivity at a high you should also set your team goals – this could be yearly targets they have to achieve which could result in them benefiting from the incentives.
Make sure these targets are realistic. They should push your team but not be unreachable – if they are working as hard as they can and still not reaching them then productivity will eventually start to drop again. Check in regularly to see whether they are reaching these targets and if they are having any issues, ask why? This will help you to resolve any problems early. Don’t be critical – this will only demotivate your employees, but at the same time ensure you provide constructive criticism to keep them heading in the right direction.
To get the best out of your team you need to inspire them so they want to work harder and smarter. The most effective inspiration isn’t always easy. It needs you to show real leadership. Leadership is about walking the talk; modelling the way to do things, not just talking about it. So if you want the team to work harder, you need to show them that you are prepared to muck in and work just as hard. If you want them to show dedication, let them see just how dedicated you are.
You can’t expect people to improve if you don’t help them do so. Provide training and your employees with appreciate it because it will benefit them in the long run. But, it will also improve the way they work right now.
Re-evaluate your processes
Take a look at your processes. If they are long winded and involve unnecessary steps this could be slowing down your employees and therefore, through no fault of their own, efficiency is low. Talk to your employees and ask them the positives and negatives of the current process and how they think this could be improved – they are the ones using it every day, after all. People are much more productive when they feel a sense of ownership in the work they do.
Fundamentally, improving efficiency is about treating people well. Provide your team with adequate training and resources, thank and praise when they do things well and lead by example. Get those basics right and there is a much greater chance that you’ll have an unbeatable team.